Report on Finance and Governance Section 80 Committee Meeting of Thursday, 8 February 2018
Yesterday’s Finance and Governance committee meeting at times resembled a mini SONA and Cllr Weideman had her hands full trying to maintain order in the face of numerous interruptions by irate councillors.
Councillors were particularly incensed that the Municipal Manager, Mr. Chetty, had not submitted reports that had been requested by councillors at previous meetings.
One report, which was glaring in its absence, related to details of public monies that had been spent on a private legal matter between the Mayor, the Speaker and blogger Mike Hampton.
The Manager Legal Services, Melony Paulsen had complied with the instruction and had submitted a report on the matter, but Mr. Chetty advised the committee that he had held back the report as he was not satisfied that the facts were correct and wished to consult SALGA, thereby calling into question Ms. Paulsen’s competence. Mr. Chetty’s explanation was extremely sparse on detail and not particularly convincing. The facts should have been easy to establish and the reference to SALGA made no sense. Cllr Weideman was even less convincing as to why she did not insist on the report. Ratepayers present were therefore left to speculate as to the real reason for withholding this information from the committee and the public.
Councillor Skosana complained that they were not being provided with vital information by the Administration and that they often had to find out what was happening at the municipality on Facebook! (Presumably a reference, at least in part, to this Facebook page).
The other item of interest related to the notifications the municipality had received that legal action may be instituted in an amount in excess of R488 000 000 as a result of damages sustained in the fires of June 2017. Cllr Myers requested Mr. Chetty to treat the matter as extremely serious, due to the risk to the municipality and requested Mr. Chetty and the Mayor to refrain from ill-advised press statements and news conferences as had happened in the past. Both Councillors van Aswegen and Myers complained that the names of fire victims should not have been included in the Agenda.